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Reading in Proust's A la recherche'le délire de la lecture'$
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Adam Watt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566174.001.0001

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Learning to Read

Learning to Read

(p.45) 2 Learning to Read
Reading in Proust's A la recherche

Adam Watt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the narrator's own acts of reading in the novel, tracing the development of his understanding of the phenomenology of the act. After the Primal Scenes, reading Bergotte further aids the narrator's self-discovery and increases his awareness of the potentialities of literature. His reading of Albertine's note and Mme de Cambremer's invitation to dinner show his growing understanding of relationships, style, and social conventions; his involuntary reading of a newspaper illuminates reading's unpredictable revelatory potential; reading his own work in the Figaro and attempting to read at once as self, other, and author brings to light the inescapable subjectivity of the act of reading. Whilst we cannot control the reading of others, one's own reading, like involuntary memory, is shown to be capable of permitting uninterrupted access to the deeper reaches of the self.

Keywords:   phenomenology, Bergotte, literature, involuntary, Figaro, self, other, memory

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